Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What You SHOULD Know About Hanukkah and the St Louis Jesuits

Michael Medved provides the (real) history--which is very interesting, indeed.

Actually, far from celebrating “diversity” or “tolerance” or “respect for every faith,” Hanukah (the name means “dedication” in Hebrew) marks a singular display of intolerance-- when religious zealots, exalting the values of “that old time religion,” came into the Temple in Jerusalem and drove out all alternate, “creative” forms of worship. In the “For the Miracles” (Al HaNissim) prayer recited at least three times a day by religious Jews during the eight days of the festival, we salute this uncompromising assertion of absolute truth: “Your children came to the Holy of Holies of Your House, cleansed Your Temple, purified the site of your Holiness and kindled lights in the Courtyards of Your Sanctuary.” No, the fervently faithful rebels did not assign a special area for other religious impulses as part of some ancient commitment to multiculturalism.

...the great-great grandson of Alexander’s general Seleucus was a megalomaniac named Antiochus IV, who had himself proclaimed “Antiochus Epiphanes” – the Illustrious, or Magnificent. He felt so intoxicated with the glories of humanistic Greek culture (which had come to dominate most of the civilized world) that he determined to crack down on his retrograde Jewish subjects with their old-fashioned, monotheistic faith and stubbornly anachronistic folkways. Like today’s secularists, the followers of Antiochus took special aim at the rite of circumcision ...

Eventually, a hillbilly priest (Mattathias) from the backwoods town of Modin led his five war-like sons in a bloody revolt against the compromises and betrayals and degeneracy of the local Jewish establishment. The bad guys of the Hanukah story weren’t so much foreign occupiers as they were indigenous traitors who junked the demanding faith of their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for the trendy, hedonistic, easy-going relativism of Aristotle, Alexander and Antiochus. By placing Greek gods in the Temple in Jerusalem, the Hellenist Jewish leadership didn’t try to exclude or prevent the old worship – they meant to open up the Holy of Holies to worshipers of every nation and of every deity in a grand celebration of diversity.

[That red-highlighted I hear a clarion call for the bloody revolt against Haugen/Haas, the Jebbies of StLouie, and "Winter Solstice" commemorations???]

The Maccabees insisted on re-affirming ultimate right and wrong, and saw their battle as part of a timeless struggle of good and evil. They demanded a return to the old ways, to the authentic, uncompromising laws of God and the Torah, and they felt only contempt for the Hellenizing modernists who fought against them. The rebels represented the common people – the poor and the humble artisans and the struggling farmers who remained loyal to the ancient faith – while their enemies represented the pampered urban elites, over-educated in the cosmopolitan ways of Judea’s Greek overlords.

At an odd moment of history when many leaders of the Jewish people are again displaying the ancient, Hellenistic fascination with homosexuality, humanism, relativism and diversity, it’s not surprising that many left-leaning sects and organizations want to hide the genuine themes of Hanukah.

Oh, Michael--were it JUST 'the leaders of the Jewish people...'

HT: Relapsed Catholic

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